On Ludu U Hla’s 101th
From a long-time literary friend abroad, Dagmar Bečková – Myathida ‘s blog post (2008) at Burma Center Prague on my grandpa, the late Ludu U Hla.
“He was born on January 19, 1910 in the village Puzunmyaun near the town of Nyaunlepin, and died on August 7,1982 in Mandalay…… In 1953-57 he was jailed in Mandalay and Rangoon as a political prisoner. At that time he recorded the true stories of his fellow prisoners, depicting with sympathetic realism the lives of waifs and strays, thieves and prostitutes, drawing attention to acute social problems of Burma. In 1957, after his release from prison, he published short stories Prison and Man (Htaun hnin lutha), for which he obtained the prestigious Sapei Biman (House of Literature) Prize, in 1958 he published short storiers about child prisoners – Little Birds from a Cage (Hlauncjain twin hma hngek nge mja), which was awarded by the UNESCO Prize for Literature in 1958. In the same year his letters To My Wife and Children (Zani hnin thathami mja thou) were published. He also dealt with problems of young people – Is Everything All Right? (Aloum kauntya ye la?) and wrote novels – With the Wind (Lei hnin atu).
“In the 1970s he wrote life stories of concrete people of various jobs – e.g. I‘m a Boatman (Tjunto hleithama), I‘m a horse-rider (Tjunto myinthama) about the 74 year old jockey U Maun Kalei. He also published travelogues and memoirs, 19th and 20th century newspaper materials and translations – all in Mandalay Ludu and later Kyipwaye Publishing House.He collected folk-tales of various nationalities of Burma e.g.. Burmese, Karen, Arakan, Mon, Palaun, Lushai, Inlei and many others – in 43 volumes he published altogether 1597 folk-tales.
“His extensive work shows that he was one of the most prolific journalists and writers of Burma with a strong social feeling and great social community involvement. ”
This post along with an obituary for Ludu Daw Ahmar are published from Ludu in a memoir for her on the second anniversary of her demise (April, 2010). ျပည္သူခ်စ္ေသာ လူထုေဒၚအမာ အမွတ္တရစာစုမ်ား
U Hla’s book covers can be seen in Ludu လူထုႀကီးပြားေရး fan page on Facebook.
A memorial Soon offering to the monks will be held in a monastery, east of Mandalay on 19th of January. I still remember Daw Mya Thida’s postcard to my grandma around 1989, saying “Daw Ahmar, we are free!” Yes, they have been free from iron fist for more than two decades already but we are not yet!
Filed under: anniversaries, family, literature, note | 2 Comments